There are conflicting reports from Iranian sources on why a regional commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) lost his life.
The public relations office of IRGC ground forces announced that General Ghodratollah Mansouri was killed by accident while cleaning his personal weapons. According to the statement, he was wounded from the head.
Earlier, the Young Journalists' Club (YJC) reported that Mansouri died "after a long illness", but deleted its report after the IRGC statement was issued. YJC is connected with IRIB, the state broadcaster under the control of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
A local news website in Mashad also reported that the general died in a hospital in the northwestern city after an illness, without mentioning any details.
The unit he was commanding is based in Khorasan-Razavi Province, bordering Afghanistan, with Mashad as its capital.
The IRGC commander's death has already become controversial with some Iranians expressing doubt on social media whether it was in fact an accident.
Mansouri was a veteran of the Ian-Iraq war in the 1980s and according to the Associated Press he also participated in military operations in Syria and Iraq.
The chief commander of IRGC, General Mohammad Ali Jafari has issued a statement expressing condolences.